LibreOffice drops 32-bit support on Linux, we posted last week. We were not the only ones. The news, in fact, was made known before, but it transpired these days as a result of the previous versions of LibreOffice 6.3, whose launch is scheduled for August. no longer have official 32-bit installers. From The Document Foundation (TDF) they have wanted to clarify it by informing in more detail about the status of the support in the office suite.
“In relation to current download numbers, the time it takes to compile, test, maintain and distribute those binaries is not worth it”, explain from The Document Foundation, referring only to Linux. Support for Windows will continue until the situation is similar. Which does not mean that support for compiling the suite for 32-bit Linux systems will be removed from the source code.
From now on, then, the work of offering LibreOffice for 32-bit is in charge of the distributions that so wish, which is actually what has always happened. “Most Linux users use LibreOffice from their distribution’s repositories,” they say, and will continue to do so. “Distributions will be responsible for sending bug fixes to LibreOffice code,” they add.
This is the crux of the matter, since most major Linux distributions have abandoned 32-bit support. Among others are Fedora and Debian, the latter as a guarantor of the old architecture for the next few years due to the amount of derivatives it has. What does not seem so likely is that if the maintenance – not just the bug reporting, but the patches to correct them – depends on its developers, it will be fruitful.
In short, 32-bit is still on the way to extinction in GNU / Linux and the same goes for applications. But there will still be alternatives and users of these will be able to continue using LibreOffice as normal, including LibreOffice 6.3 and future versions. Until when it will be possible, is another song. At the moment, Debian and derivative users have the best prospects.